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Custom program developed for Health Science leaders

Health Sciences Leadership Series

A program designed to improve the leadership capabilities and communication skills of Health Sciences faculty members.

Visit the Faculty of Health Sciences website to register.

By Mark Kerr, Senior Communications Officer

Health Sciences faculty members spend years training for their roles as educators, researchers and scholars. In many cases, though, there aren'™t the same opportunities to develop specific skills required for their administrative and managerial duties.

The Office of Faculty Development in the Faculty of Health Sciences aims to change that by collaborating with the Human Resources Department on a new management development program. The Health Sciences Leadership Series will launch this September with the first cohort of 30 participants completing six full-day sessions throughout 2014-15.

"This program is modelled after one that myself and a number of other faculty had the opportunity to take several years ago," says Tony Sanfilippo, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education, Faculty of Health Sciences. "In retrospect, the content has proven to be highly relevant and practical. The Health Sciences Leadership Series will be invaluable to any faculty members charged with administrative responsibilities or curricular development."

Human Resources designed the program specifically for Health Sciences faculty members. The material will cover challenges, situations and conflicts they will encounter in their day-to-day work. Dr. Sanfilippo says participants will gain a deeper understanding of their leadership capabilities, expand their communication skills, enhance their project management skills, and improve their ability to build relationships both within and outside their department.

The Health Sciences Leadership Series will be invaluable to any faculty members charged with administrative responsibilities or curricular development.

Tony Sanfilippo, Associate Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences.

With the Health Sciences Leadership Series, Queen's Human Resources Department continues to expand its leadership development programming. The department has offered a similar program for non-academic managers since 2009.

"œWe are excited to partner with the Faculty of Health Sciences to extend this valuable leadership training to their faculty members," says Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal, Human Resources. "We are hopeful that the positive outcomes of this series will result in opportunities to work with other faculties on similar programs in the future."

The series has the added benefit of meeting the accreditation criteria for two professional organizations. It is an accredited group learning activity for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The program also meets the accreditation criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Online registration is now open with the first session slated to take place Sept. 16. More information is available on the Faculty of Health Sciences website or by contacting Shannon Hill, Learning Development Specialist, Human Resources, at ext. 74175.
 

Mentoring Indigenous youth

Queen’s and the Katarokwi Learning Centre of the Limestone District School Board are partnering on a pilot research mentorship program.

  • [The Indigenous mentoring program unites faculty, staff, and students at Queen’s with staff and students from the Limestone District School Board.]
    The Indigenous mentoring program unites faculty, staff, and students at Queen’s with staff and students from the Limestone District School Board. (University Communications)
  • [Nicole Morse, Natasha Vitkin, and Matteo Zago-Schmitt meet at Four Directions to plan exercises for their mentees.]
    Nicole Morse, Natasha Vitkin, and Matteo Zago-Schmitt meet at Four Directions to plan exercises for their mentees. (University Communications)
  • [Graduate students Shrutika Sukumar and Mohammad Azzam review lab safety with the high school students.]
    Graduate students Shrutika Sukumar and Mohammad Azzam review lab safety with the high school students. (University Communications)
  • [Mary-Jane Vincent explores the Anatomy Learning Centre]
    The Anatomy Learning Centre contains human body parts preserved in glass containers so students can study them. (University Communications)
  • [Ms. Vincent examines a model of a human brain in the Anatomy Learning Centre.]
    Mary-Jane Vincent, an Indigenous high school student, examines a model of a human brain in the Anatomy Learning Centre. (University Communications)

First Nations students in grades 10 and 11 have deepened their knowledge of science and health care with the help of some Queen’s graduate students.

The high-school students are participants in a pilot program aimed at giving them a leg up as they prepare for post-secondary studies. They met with their mentors from February through to the end of May.

“The vision of this program is to provide these students with a science-based education opportunity that leaves them feeling inspired, confident, and supported,” says Lisa Doxtator, Aboriginal Community Outreach Liaison at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre and one of the program’s co-ordinators.

“Our hope is that the students will consider furthering their education in the sciences and will be better established for postsecondary success through this program,” adds Bruce Elliott, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine who is also one of the program’s co-ordinators. “The Four Directions Centre provides an ideal supportive home for our program.”

Working alongside Dr. Elliott and Ms. Doxtator are assistant co-ordinators, PhD student Chelsea Jackson and MSc graduate Sarah Nersesian; and graduate student mentors Nicole Morse, Natasha Vitkin, and Matteo Zago-Schmitt of the Queen's Collaborative Cancer Grad Program and the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine.  

The mentors guide the students down one of two streams – a general stream, where the students learn about the scientific method through basic experiences; and a specific interest stream, where they complete a goal-driven project to gain experience in their area of interest.

“I wanted to get involved with the Research Mentorship program to combine my passion for science with my desire to give back to the Kingston community,” says Ms. Vitkin. “In our meetings, my mentee and I perform scientific experiments, go over key concepts, and discuss possible career paths and educational opportunities. I have really enjoyed creating a one-on-one discovery-based environment where my mentee and I learn from each other and explore key scientific concepts.”

Rounding out the team are Scott Nicol and Kelly Maracle, Indigenous Student Support and Engagement teachers with the Katarokwi Learning Centre of the Limestone District School Board (LDSB).

“For the school board, this program has created a post-secondary pathway for our students that attend the River Program at the Katarokwi Learning Centre,” says Ms. Maracle.

The pilot program currently includes three students from the education centre – this fall, the school board and Queen’s hope to expand the program to include more Indigenous students.

"The science mentorship was an enjoyable, interactive, and educational program,” says Mary-Jane Vincent, one of the students. “I enjoyed the variety of hands-on experiments like extracting DNA out of a strawberry and identifying differences between the mentor's and mentee's fingerprints."

As a final highlight, students and their mentors were invited to visit the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences’ Anatomy Learning Centre, where they were hosted by the Anatomy Pattern II program. During their visit, they viewed human body parts and tissues on microscope slides.

This mentorship program was funded by a $5,000 Canadian Institutes of Health Research Synpase grant. The school board has also covered some of the students’ costs.

Major pancreatic cancer breakthrough

Clinical trial results show pancreatic cancer patients nearly twice as likely to survive with new treatment.

Queen's University and CCTG researcher Jim Biagi discusses study results with clinical trial participant Kathleen Kennedy.
Queen's/CCTG researcher Jim Biagi discusses study results with clinical trial participant Kathleen Kennedy.

Clinical trial results presented today at a prestigious cancer meeting in Chicago show substantial increased survival rates for pancreatic cancer patients who received a four-drug chemotherapy combination known as mFOLFIRINOX after surgery. Pancreatic cancer is typically very aggressive, with only approximately eight per cent of people surviving beyond five years after diagnosis, even after surgery and the standard chemotherapy treatment.

Co-led by Jim Biagi, Interim Head of the Department of  Oncology at Queen’s University and researcher with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) headquartered at Queen's, the PRODIGE 24/CCTG PA.6 randomized phase III clinical trial showed that the risks of cancer recurring in post-operative pancreatic cancer patients was reduced by almost 50 per cent with the new chemotherapy regimen.

“The distressing part of pancreatic cancer is that only a small proportion of patients are candidates for surgery and, even if surgery is successful, most will die of recurrent disease,” says Dr. Biagi. “Our trial results demonstrate that patients who receive this treatment after surgery are almost twice as likely to survive. This is life changing for these patients and should impact how we treat pancreatic cancer around the world.”

Following successful surgery, 493 patients with pancreatic cancer were randomly assigned to receive either the current standard treatment (Gemcitabine) or the trial mFOLFIRINOX treatment for six months. On average, patients who received mFOLFIRINOX lived almost 20 months longer and were cancer-free nine months longer than those who received the standard treatment.

“A few months after my cancer diagnosis, I had surgery and then elected to try this experimental treatment,” says Kathleen Kennedy, a Kingston-area resident and one of the trial’s more than 100 Canadian participants. “I knew that there could be risks, but I also knew that it would be helpful – if not immediately to me, then for other pancreatic cancer patients in the future. Now, three disease-free years later, I feel so blessed that this treatment has afforded me more time with my husband, children, and grandchildren.”

The results suggest the new treatment regimen should become standard practice worldwide. There are also some next steps to explore, including experimenting with the timing of chemotherapy. Patients may benefit from receiving chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor, to destroy undetectable micro-metastases, and increase the chance that the tumor can be completely removed through surgery. Another option is to give half the cycles of chemotherapy before, and the other half after surgery. Ongoing clinical trials are already testing both of these approaches.

“I have great respect for patients who volunteer to participate in clinical trial research like ours,” says Dr. Biagi. “Despite the potential risks, they bravely step forward knowing that they could help not only themselves, but a great many people affected by the disease. It’s been an honour to work alongside them, and the results should give us all a great many reasons to be hopeful and excited for longer, healthier lives.”

The study’s co-lead is Thierry Conroy, medical oncologist and director of the Institut de Cancérologie de Lorraine in Nancy – one of the UNICANCER hospital network’s comprehensive cancer centres in France. Funding for the trial was provided by the Institut National du Cancer in France, the French national Ligue against cancer, cycling charity group 7 Days in May and the Canadian Cancer Society.

“Since 1980, more than 80,000 people have received excellent care at over 800 hospitals and cancer centres across the country in clinical trials that we funded. We’re obviously thrilled when discoveries from these trials improve survival and change the way cancer is treated worldwide,” says Judy Bray, Vice-President of Research at the Canadian Cancer Society. “We are committed to helping Canadians through the entire cancer journey by investing in research on prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and the quality of life of those affected by cancer.”

The PA.6 results were presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

Tragic loss inspires new fellowship at Queen’s

William J. Henderson Foundation donates $1 million to fight interstitial lung disease in honour of Ruth Pattenden.

Ruth and David Pattenden were supposed to make a quick trip to the doctor’s office to get Ruth’s blood test results and then have lunch. Instead, Ruth was sent to Kingston General Hospital for more tests.

[David Pattenden]
David Pattenden announces a new fellowship in honour of his late wife Ruth, during an event hosted at the New Medical Building on Friday, June 1. (University Communications)

“We knew she had sensitive lungs but we didn’t think it was anything serious,” says David, who was married to Ruth for 54 years. “Once we went to the hospital, she was put in a room immediately. She never came home.”

Three weeks later on Aug. 25, 2016, she was taken off life support due to complications from interstitial lung disease.

To help prevent the same tragedy from happening to others, the Ruth Pattenden Fellowship in Interstitial Lung Disease is being launched at Queen’s, thanks to a $1 million gift from the William J. Henderson Foundation.

“I was completely unaware of the disorder and how serious it was until I went through the terrible experience of losing my wife,” says David, who is a director of the William J. Henderson Foundation. “The foundation wanted to fund research that would have a practical and immediate impact on clinical care of interstitial lung disease.”

The disease is characterized by progressive scarring of lung tissue which makes it difficult to breath. Once the scarring occurs, it is irreversible. Medication may slow the damage, but people never regain the full use of their lungs.

The fellowship provides doctors with special training to diagnose and treat people with the disease.   

Dr. Diane Lougheed, chair of the Division of Respirology in the Department of Medicine at Queen's University and Kingston Health Sciences Centre, says the fellowship will allow doctors to provide better care.

"This fellowship will allow us to provide comprehensive clinical training to respirologists wishing to develop special expertise in all aspects of interstitial lung disease – from diagnosis to management, across the continuum of care from the ambulatory clinic to the hospital setting, including the intensive care unit,” says Dr. Lougheed.

It was an easy decision for the William J. Henderson Foundation trustees to create this new fellowship. The organization has a long history of supporting medical research at Queen’s. The foundation was set up by Judge William Henderson, a 1938 Queen’s Arts grad who passed away in 2006. Judge Henderson was grateful to Queen’s and local hospitals for the high quality of medical care he received later in life when he encountered health problems. Ruth Pattenden and Judge Henderson were also very close friends.

“If the judge were alive today, he certainly would have wanted to fund research on the disease that killed Ruth,” says David, who has five degrees from Queen’s (Arts'67, MA'69, Law'71, MEd'74, LLD'03).

Anyone wishing to support the Ruth Pattenden Fellowship in Interstitial Lung Disease can make a donation through the Give to Queen’s website.

This article originally appeared on the Queen’s Alumni website.

Introducing our new faculty members: Thomas Rotter

Thomas Rotter is a new member of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

This profile is part of a series highlighting some of the new faculty members who have recently joined the Queen's community as part of the Principal's faculty renewal initiative, which will see 200 new faculty members hired over five years.

Thomas Rotter (Healthcare Quality) sat down with the Gazette to talk about his experience so far. Dr. Rotter is an associate professor.

[Thomas Rotter]
Dr. Thomas Rotter joined the Queen's community in July of 2017. (University Communications)
Fast Facts about Dr. Rotter

Department: Healthcare Quality, and Nursing

Hometown: Günzburg, Germany

Alma mater: Technische Universität Dresden (public health), Erasmus University (evaluation science)

Research areas: healthcare quality, risk, and patient safety

Hobbies include: Cooking, bicycling, gardening

Dr. Rotter’s web bio
How did you decide to become a teacher?
I never thought I would be a professor, which makes me a rare species. If you told me even in my thirties that I would be a professor, I would not have believed you. 
I worked as a nurse clinician for eleven years in Germany in a variety of settings before deciding to go back to university to complete my PhD. While completing my doctorate, I connected with the Cochrane Collaboration – this is like a dating agency for those involved in evidence-based practice and medicine. Through this, I met my mentor – Dr. Leigh Kinsman in Australia – and we started doing research together. He taught me about how to successfully apply for high-level research grants, how to publish, and he helped me overcome my anxiety about these things.
He is still my most important collaborator and friend, and my mentor – before I make any important decisions, such as taking this job at Queen’s, I am always consulting him. My passion for research led me to academia, and I ended up loving it.
How did you end up in Canada?
In 2012, I applied for a research chair position at the University of Saskatchewan in health quality improvement science, and I was accepted. During my time there, my wife and I had our daughter – she’s now four years old. So we are now working on our citizenship applications and intending to stay in Canada. I decided after five years of this wonderful chair position that I should go for a faculty position so I could have more time with my daughter.
With this faculty position at Queen’s, teaching is about 35 per cent of my job and I really love it. One course I teach is about research and evaluation methods in health quality, risk, and safety. It is delivered in a hybrid format as part of a two-year masters course. Students are here twice for a week, and the rest is delivered online.
It was a bit of a challenge in the start, but it is going really well and I am looking forward to more teaching – as well as bringing more of my research from Saskatchewan here.
Tell us a bit about your research. Why is it important?
All of my research has a common aim – to cut down the time it takes for a new discovery in healthcare to arrive at the patient’s bedside. I am considering both the patient outcomes, as well as the knowledge and ability of the healthcare professionals – ensuring they are using the best available knowledge to treat their patients. All of my research is of an applied nature. I am doing loads of different stuff because my scope is broad. It applies to every discipline in primary and hospital care.
Some of my research focuses on clinical pathways – interventions which are aimed at guiding evidence-based practice and improving the interactions between health services. I have worked on pathway projects in Canada and internationally as a way to standardize the way we provide care for patients with cancer, pediatric asthma, gastroenteritis, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to improve both their quality of life and life expectancy – but primarily focusing on quality of care.
I also want to do some research into suicide prevention, going back to my time as a psych nurse. The numbers are terrible, and we have to do something.
My skills are generally applicable as long as I work with content experts. I am currently working with a lung doctor on a project in Saskatchewan to implement and evaluate a clinical pathway for COPD patients in Regina.
How did you become passionate about healthcare quality?
This area is under-researched, when compared to basic research, and it is truly multidisciplinary by nature. Some innovations make it into the care setting quicker and we don’t know why. It can be the political climate, the context, or just the right timing – what I know is that we don’t know.
We spend billions of dollars every year to create ‘me too’ drugs that are almost the same as existing drugs – if we instead focused more on quality and ensuring medical knowledge and cutting-edge products made it into the care setting faster, this would save lives and have a much greater effect. This principle applies to every sector of medicine.
Another project you have worked on relates to simulating patient deterioration. What is that?
This is a project I worked on in Australia, which I would like to bring to Canada to test the transferability. We picked two hospitals in Australia and used face-to-face simulations to test nurses’ knowledge and skills on patient deterioration before and after the training, and in two other hospitals we used web-based video simulations. I was a strong believer in face-to-face simulation. I have a background as a health economist, and Dr. Kinsman asked me to do the cost analysis.
We found that both formats were as effective at increasing nurses’ knowledge, and that over time web-based delivery gets cheaper. It is costly at the start but after about 100 nurse trainees you hit the break-even point. I hope to test the findings next year in Canada.
[Thomas Rotter]
Dr. Rotter holds up a picture of his daughter. (University Communications)
What do you think of Kingston?
It was a very good trade – the best thing my family and I have done since moving to Canada. Though we had a wonderful time in Saskatchewan, this is the right opportunity for us and it is closer to Europe so I can visit my family in Germany. It is a magnificent town. It is the right size, and every time I drive home from Toronto I am happy to be coming back – though it is nice to visit Toronto too and take in the sights.
What you might not know is Saskatchewan has no passenger trains, and being from Europe I am so used to that. I appreciate the trains here. I am regularly going to Ottawa or Toronto…I can work. It’s almost like being back home.
What do you do for fun?
I am a hobby chef. I enjoy cooking from country to country – the more exotic the better. Most of the stuff I like is from Africa or the Caribbean. I never cook for myself – I love to cook for guests, and cooking together.
I also love to bike – I lived in the Netherlands for six years and my wife and I both fluently speak Dutch. I recently went to a conference in Amsterdam and the first thing I did was get a bike – I would bike from the hotel to the conference. My Canadian colleagues looked at me and asked, “Are you biking?” and I said, “Yes, every morning – it’s nice guys!” “Is this considered to be safe?” they asked. They took a cab or the tram.
I am also a hobby gardener. What I like about gardening is to grow your own vegetables. Having your own veggie garden is the only way to know what you are eating, and it is a great workout.

Faculty Renewal

Principal Daniel Woolf has identified faculty renewal as a high priority for reinvestment by the university in support of the academic mission. The five-year renewal plan, launched in 2017, will see 200 new faculty hired, which nearly doubles the hiring pace of the previous six years.

Faculty renewal supports Queen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by giving the university the opportunity to seek, proactively, representation from equity-seeking groups such as women, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized individuals. It will also build on Queen’s current areas of research strength.

To learn more about the Principal’s faculty renewal plans, read this Gazette article. Stay tuned for additional new faculty profiles in the Gazette.

Queen’s hosting digital health care discussions

Drs. Eric Topol, Brian Goldman, and Richard Birtwhistle will discuss the impact of technological innovation and big data on patient care.

From the operating room to the waiting room, technology is changing the way healthcare is delivered in Canada. Organizers of a free conference coming up at Queen’s this summer will bring together clinicians, patients, policymakers, educators, business leaders, and technology experts to take the pulse of trends in the medical world, and prescribe a path forward.

[Dr. Eric Topol
Dr. Eric Topol is known for his opinions about how digital technologies will transform healthcare. (Supplied Photo)

The 2018 Research & Innovation Showcase, on June 6, 2018, is a day-long event, hosted by the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO), which will explore developments in the digital health technology field, connect attendees with some of the foremost thinkers in the growing field, and offer participants the opportunity to brainstorm their own revolutionary ideas.

SEAMO has secured three noteworthy speakers for the event, including Eric Topol – cardiologist, geneticist, and author. His book, The Patient Will See You Now, explores how smartphone adoption, big data, and other technological trends, are combining to revolutionize health care. Dr. Topol believes that, in the future, medical advice, much like a cab, could be just a few taps of the smartphone away.

Also appearing at the showcase will be Brian Goldman, host of CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art. Dr. Goldman is also a Toronto emergency room physician, and author of the book, The Secret Language of Doctors.

The third keynote speaker will be Queen’s own Richard Birtwhistle, Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, who has been the lead on a big data project to establish a national primary care research database.

[Dr. Richard Birtwhistle]
Representing Queen's at the podium will be Richard Birtwhistle, Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences. (Supplied Photo)

“Dr. Birtwhistle’s presentation will provide a tangible example of our digital health leadership, and I am looking forward to his perspective as to how we stay ahead of the curve,” says Chris Simpson, SEAMO Medical Director and Acting Dean (Faculty of Health Sciences). “Queen's Medicine is well positioned to continue our leadership role in digital health, which will continue to create major changes in how healthcare is being delivered going forward.”

Along with the keynote speeches, the event will feature panel discussions focused on how advances in digital technology are changing the nature of health care delivery in Canada. Panel participants will include policymakers, industry leaders, health care providers and patients, as well as the keynote speakers.

Attendees will also learn about cutting-edge work conducted by SEAMO’s Clinician Scientists during breakout sessions and can view poster displays from recent Innovation Fund award winners.

To help spur on more innovative ideas, the Showcase will also feature a Health Care Innovation Hackathon to challenge attendees to come up with their own innovative digital health ideas. The hackathon will be run by Joule Inc., a Canadian Medical Association company.

“We need engineers, computer and social scientists, policy and law experts, and "lived experience" patients and clients to help us understand how this transformation should be accommodated in our lives and integrated into the regulatory and legal environments,” says Dr. Simpson. “That’s why we hope there will be people from all walks of life attending our conference on June 6.”

To get your tickets for the 2018 SEAMO Research and Innovation Showcase, and find out more about these projects and keynotes, visit www.seamo.ca or follow the event on Twitter @2018RIS

Four Queen’s faculty named Canada Research Chairs

The Canada Research Chairs program advances the country’s position as a leader in discovery and innovation.

Every year, the Government of Canada invests approximately $265 million through the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program to attract and retain some of the world’s foremost academic talent. On May 3, 2018, four Queen’s researchers were appointed to Tier 1 and Tier 2 CRC roles – two of whom have been newly selected and two who were renewed for another term.

“The Canada Research Chairs Program continues to nurture exciting research being conducted at institutions across the country,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Here at Queen’s we are very proud to have not only two of our current Chairs renewed to their roles, but to also have two faculty members appointed as brand new chair holders. Their leadership within their respective academic disciplines represents the research excellence our university strives to achieve.”

Tier 1 Chairs are recognized by their peers as world leaders in their respective fields, while Tier 2 Chairs are recognized as emerging leaders in their research areas. Queen’s will receive $200,000 per year over seven years for each Tier 1 Chair and $100,000 per year over five years for each Tier 2 Chair. Currently, Queen’s is home to over 40 Canada Research Chairs.

Developed in 2000, the CRC program promotes research excellence in engineering, natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

Queen’s new and renewed CRCs are:

Guojun Liu (Chemistry) has been renewed at the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Materials Science. Dr. Liu’s research is focused on the development of nanostructured polymer materials for various applications, including the refinement of filters that may be able to separate water from organic solvents.

 

Zongchao Jia (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) has been renewed as the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Structural Biology. Dr. Jia and his team are working to understand and affect the function of several atypical protein enzymes in both bacteria and humans with the aim of developing antibiotic and therapeutic applications.

 

Gabor Fichtinger (Computing) has been newly appointed as the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Computer Integrated Surgery. Dr. Fichtinger’s research program will concentrate on novel technologies for minimally invasive medical interventions that use computational imaging, spacial navigation, and robotics to transcend human limitations, and ultimately improve accuracy and precision.

 

Kyla S. Tienhaara (Australian National University) has been newly appointed as the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment. Dr. Tienhaara is joining Queen’s from the Australian National University, and will be analyzing the merits of ‘Green Keynesianism’ – an economic model in which governments take on more active and regulatory roles to bolster both economic growth and the adoption of climate change mitigating measures.

 

Visit the Canada Research Chair Program website for more information.

Malcolm Williams: 1932-2018

[Dr. Malcolm Williams]
Dr. Malcolm Williams

Malcolm Williams, a former head of the Department of Otolaryngology and a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences for 27 years, died on April 23, 2018 at his home in Kingston.

Born on June 9, 1932 in Grovesend, South Wales, Dr. Williams arrived at Queen’s in 1969 and retired in 1996. Engaging and compassionate he was recognized as one of Canada’s top ear surgeons during his career.

A memorial service will be held at the Cathedral Church of St. George (corner of Johnson and King streets), on Friday, April at 11 am. The family will receive friends at the church prior to the service from 10 am until 10:50 am and during a reception following the service.

An obituary is available online.

Dr. Williams also wrote a piece for the Undergraduate School of Medicine Blog regarding a trip to Italy and the art of teaching through storytelling, something he excelled at.

Honorary degrees for spring ceremonies

The presentation of honorary degrees is one of the many traditions of convocation. This spring, seven recipients will be honored during the ceremonies. All recipients were selected by Queen’s community members for their contributions to the local community, Canadian society, or the world.

The honorary degree recipients this year include:

Phil Gold, Doctor of Science DSc

[Phil Gold]
Phil Gold

Ceremony 2: Thursday, May 24 at 2:30 pm

Phil Gold is the Executive Director of the Clinical Research Centre of the McGill University Health Centre at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) and the Douglas G. Cameron Professor of Medicine and Professor of Physiology and Oncology at McGill University. He has served as the Inaugural Director of the Goodman Cancer Centre, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at McGill, and Physician-in-Chief at the MGH.

Dr. Gold’s early research led to the discovery and definition of the Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA), and the subsequent CEA blood test. In 2006, the Phil Gold Chair in Medicine was inaugurated at McGill University. Dr. Gold was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2010, and also received the Life Time Achievement Award from McGill University and the inaugural McGill University Faculty of Medicine Global Achievement Award in 2011.

Dr. Gold has received national and international recognition throughout his career, including the Gairdner Foundation Annual International Award (1978), Medizinische Hochschule, Germany (1978), the Johann-Georg-Zimmerman Prize for Cancer Research (1978), the Isaak Walton Killam Award in Medicine of the Canada Council (1985), the National Cancer Institute of Canada R.M. Taylor Medal (1992), the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal (2002), and many other accolades, including honorary degrees from a number of universities.

Isabel Bassett, Doctor of Laws LLD

[Isabel Bassett]
Isabel Bassett

Ceremony 5: Friday, May 25 at 4 pm.

Professionally, Isabel Bassett was Chair and CEO of TVOntario, MPP and Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation for the Ontario Government, and host and producer of award winning documentaries on CFTO TV, which focused on social issues such as sexual abuse, mental health, and teen gangs.

Now retired, Ms. Bassett is a facilitator using her know-how and connections to work for gender parity. She advocates to get young people more involved in politics and for more diversity on boards and in senior management positions. She is now adding her voice in support of the McMichael Gallery to awaken the public to Canada's little known treasure house of Canadian Art.

Indira Samarasekera, Doctor of Science DSc

[Indira Samarasekera]
Indira Samarasekera

Ceremony 12: Thursday, May 31 at 4 pm

Indira Samarasekera served as the twelfth President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Alberta from 2005 to 2015. She also served as Vice-President (Research) at the University of British Columbia from 2000 to 2005. She is currently a Senior Advisor for Bennett Jones LLP and serves on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Nova Scotia, Magna International, and TransCanada. Dr. Samarasekera was appointed by the Prime Minister to serve as a Federal Member to the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments until 2017.

Dr. Samarasekera is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading metallurgical engineers for her ground-breaking work on process engineering of materials, especially steel processing. Dr. Samarasekera was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002 for outstanding contributions to steel process engineering. In 2014, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in the US, the profession’s highest honour.

As a Hays Fulbright Scholar, she earned an MSc from the University of California in 1976 and a PhD in metallurgical engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1980. She has received honorary degrees from the Universities of British Columbia, Toronto, Waterloo, Montreal, and from Western University in Canada, as well as Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland.

Valerie Tarasuk, Doctor of Science DSc

[Valerie Tarasuk]
Valerie Tarasuk

Ceremony 13: Friday, June 1 at 10 am

Valerie Tarasuk is a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Tarasuk’s research includes Canadian food policy and population-level dietary assessment, but much of her career has focused on income-related problems of food access in Canada. She played a pivotal role in the implementation of food insecurity monitoring in Canada and has helped spearhead efforts to use monitoring data to inform programming and policy decisions. Dr. Tarasuk has led PROOF, an interdisciplinary research program investigating household insecurity in Canada, since 2011. In 2017, Dr. Tarasuk was honored by the Canadian Nutrition Society with the Earle Willard McHenry Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition.

John Baird, Doctor of Law LLD

[John Baird]
John Baird

Ceremony 14: Friday, June 1 at 2:30 pm

John Baird served as a senior cabinet minister in the Government of Canada. Mr. Baird spent three terms as a Member of Parliament and four years as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served as President of the Treasury Board, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. In 2010, he was selected by MPs from all parties as Parliamentarian of the Year. He is currently a Senior Business Advisor with Bennett Jones LLP.

An instrumental figure in bilateral trade and investment relationships, Mr. Baird has played a leading role in the Canada-China dialogue and worked to build ties with Southeast Asian nations.

Mr. Baird holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s. He volunteers his time with Community Living Ontario, the Prince's Charities, and is a board member of the Friends of Israel Initiative.

Hugh Segal, Doctor of Law LLD

[Hugh Segal]
Hugh Segal

Ceremony 15: Monday, June 4 at 10 am

Now the fifth elected Principal of Massey College and a strategic advisor at the law firm of Aird and Berlis, LLP, Hugh Segal has spent his career in such public service roles as the Associate Cabinet Secretary (Federal-Provincial Affairs) in Ontario and the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.  In Ontario, he was involved in the negotiations to patriate the Canadian constitution and create the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Mr. Segal chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism between 2005 and 2014.  He served as Canada's Special Envoy to the Commonwealth and a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on reform and modernization, human rights, and rule of law.

A former President of the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal, a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Global Affairs, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs, the Queen's School of Policy Studies, and the Smith School of Business at Queen's, Mr. Segal holds honorary doctorates from the Royal Military College of Canada and the University of Ottawa.

Douglas Cardinal, Doctor of Law LLD

[Douglas Cardinal]
Douglas Cardinal

Ceremony 21: Wednesday, June 6 at 2:30 pm

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Douglas Cardinal's architectural studies at The University of British Columbia took him to Austin, Texas, where he achieved his architectural degree and found his passion for human rights initiatives. Mr. Cardinal has become a forerunner of philosophies of sustainability, green buildings, and ecologically designed community planning.

Mr. Cardinal has received many national and international awards, including 20 Honorary Doctorates, Gold Medals of Architecture in Canada and Russia, and an award from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for best sustainable village. He was also titled an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the most prestigious awards that can be given to a Canadian, and he was awarded the declaration of “World Master of Contemporary Architecture” by the International Association of Architects.

Major program grant INSPIREs better health care

Queen's researcher receives $2 million for ongoing review of primary health care in Ontario.

Queen’s clinician-researcher Michael Green and his collaborator, Rick Glazier at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), have received more than $2 million from Ontario’s Health System Research Fund (HSRF) to support their ongoing study of health system challenges and equitable access to primary health care in the province.

The INSPIRE-PHC2 research program (Innovations Supporting Primary Care Through Research Phase 2) is one of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s HSRF Program Awards.

“We are very pleased to be receiving this support from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,” says Dr. Green, Head of the Queen’s Department of Family Medicine and the grant’s Nominated Principal Investigator. “This three-year funding will allow us to continue to provide up-to-date evidence on the state of primary health services in Ontario on an ongoing basis, and to provide strong, innovative recommendations to the province so gaps in service can be improved.”

The funded project is a continuation of an earlier three-year HSRF Program Award (2013-2016), helmed by Western University’s Moira Stewart. With this renewed funding, Drs. Green and Glazier will lead a team of more than 30 primary care researchers from across Ontario, with a focus on continued evaluation of innovations in the delivery of primary health care, and the successes and challenges faced by Ontario’s Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.

“We meet frequently with stakeholders in the primary care sector to hone the targeting of our analysis and to identify needs,” says Dr. Green. “This approach allows us to continually address new challenges as they arise and make ongoing recommendations for service improvement. “

As a continual analysis of the primary care landscape, the program has already looked at things like the distribution and effectiveness of family health teams across Ontario. Geographic analysis revealed where in the province the gaps in access to family health teams were largest, allowing Dr. Green and his collaborators to advise the provincial government where they could prioritize for improved or increased service. This data helped inform the Government of Ontario when it was determining where to locate recently funded new family health teams.

“Dr. Green and his collaborators are making invaluable contributions to the future health of people across Ontario,” says John Fisher, Vice-Principal (Research). “On behalf of Queen’s, I want to congratulate him on securing new funding that will allow his team to continue this patient-oriented program that will continue to improve the province’s primary health care system.”

Visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s website for the announcement about this award and further details.

Learn more about the INSPIRE program here.

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